Some creative ways and other tried and true methods to live cheap and start saving now when you’re in your 20’s and on a tight budget.
It’s hard to be young and broke. It’s even harder to try to live cheap and have a social life. With the huge focus on the downturn in the economy, though, there is an advantage. You can finally let your frugal side shine embarrassment-free. Stating out loud that you are trying to save money, want to eat at a cheaper restaurant, or that you just don’t have the gas money to drive downtown doesn’t hold the same social stigma it once did.
Being cheap is no longer an insult, but the smart way to go about things. From researching around the internet, using my own personal experiences, and taking examples from friends, I’ve compiled a list of tips to live cheap and save money. The good thing about this list is that it’s based on those who have a smaller income but also works well if you are trying to build wealth towards bigger purchases.
You Can Still Have Fun and Be Cheap
One of the hardest things about trying to live cheap is that you miss out on a lot of social outings. Here are a few ways you can still enjoy yourself and not spend much money.
- Don’t go out to eat. I know. I just said you can still enjoy yourself, but eating out is one of the top ways to drain your money. It’s hard to say no to food and friends, but instead you can meet them up later. Try stopping by towards the end of the meal and just having a drink (non-alcoholic will save you more money).
- Don’t spend much money on drinks. On a weekend, dinner is usually followed by a night out on the town. To live cheap, you’ll have to practice self-control. Limit yourself to just buying 1 or 2 drinks, and try to only go out once a week. Another tip, leave your credit cards at home, and only bring a small amount of cash. You can’t spend what you don’t have.
- Host a Potluck. A potluck is a great social activity that combines food and friends while being easy on the wallet. Generally, the hosts prepares the main entrée dish, and each guest is assigned to bring either a side, appetizer, drink, or dessert. This is a great way to enjoy and host company.
- Use the public library. If you like reading, this is a great solution for you. Buying books is expensive especially if you are a voracious reader. Try going to your public library where you can borrow the books for free. It’s free! Is there a better word? I think not.